Guild Wars 2: 28.08.2012

Final Fantasy XI: Seeker of Adoulin Announced

I am very excited!

Warren Spector: “The ultraviolence has to stop”

In regards to my previous post “A history of violence” another famous person has chimed in on GamesIndustry.biz: Warren Spector.

I can only agree with him: Ultra-violence is only good for a shocker moment, to cause a disgusted reaction or to get media attention.
To give you an example: God of War presentation at E3. Typical gameplay, good combat, diverse enemies. But the kicker was the final battle when the elephant boss was knocked down and his skull cracked open to reveal his brain.
Seriously, was this necessary by any means? How does this make it a better game? How does this increase the experience for the player?

Headline from original article here: Warren Spector: “The ultraviolence has to stop

Summoning the death of consoles?

For quite some time now many voice concerns or their reasoning why the next console generation is or shall be the last one.
Why is everyone so obsessed to call game consoles dinosaurs and see their extinction?
All those voices have yet failed for me to explain how they envision a gaming world will work without consoles in 10 years.

Currently consoles deliver vast, rich and immersive game play experiences. You cannot experience this on any other platform. While smart phones and tablets offer new and on the go abilities to access data and play games they cannot even remotely compete with the experience. The PC is very much the only competitor here able to deliver the same level (if not boeyond) to game consoles.
Streaming services like Gaikai might be an interesting technology but with the huge differences world wide in broadband technology and its availability game streaming services are still at the very beginning.

Read more »

Star Trek Online: Lockboxes

I once pre-ordered the collectors edition for this game just to find myself very disappointed.
It didn’t take too long until I stopped playing this game.

Now some times has passed and because some friends got into the game because it is free to play I decided to return.
Quite some stuff has changed and Cryptic is going all out on the free to play model to lure players on every corner to spend their hard real money on the game.

In most instances I am fine with what I see but there are a few things that put it on a border.
One of these are the lock boxes (Locked Ferengi Box).
You never know what is inside there. There is a range of stuff that could be in there but Cryptic never revealed the odds for it and probably never will unless legislation classifies it as “gambling” in Europe and enforces regulation.
Either then they will reveal it or remove it from the game.

That actually is it: Gambling. You need to buy keys for real money to be able to open a box.
If you are lucky you get a great award or some minor stuff. Just luck.

These boxes drop in such high quantities everywhere in the game that they feel disturbing already.
Many players despise the super high droprate on them just to discard them from the inventory.

Just as if Cryptic wanted to throw it even harder into your face there is another instance for these boxes:
You finish a quest and you get a blue (rare) item box. At first your happy, a rare reward.
Once you open the box you find extremely often just another green (uncommon) Locked Ferengi Box.
Discarding and disappointment follows.

An extremely good read on these lockboxes can be found here:

Massively: Perfect Ten: The truth about lockboxes

A history of violence

Gamesindustry.biz is currently featuring an article about violence in video games.
The question is kinda where we can go with violence and what it can deliver and what comes next?

I believe with violence you can do only so much and if you limit yourself to violence you limit your game and the players experience.
Violence can play its vital part used in the right way. It can make a scene more realistic, increase the threat to the player or make him feel uncomfortable to encourage him to prevent this kind of situation in further gameplay.

If the sole purpose is to show off blood like never before then you should back it up by something else that levels the experience.

Link: GamesIndustry.biz: A history of violence

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